12 September 2011

Big Sound Live 20110907

Brous @ Woodland
Big Sound, for those not in the know, is a Brisbane music conference held in September each year to which music industry types from all over the world come to see Australian bands showcased and to talk about relevant industry topics.

Big Sound Live is the live show element, held across two nights and multiple venues in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.

This year, I was fortunate enough to obtain a media pass for Big Sound Live.

I sat down with my Big Sound Live timetable and picked bands I thought would be interesting, based on the one song of theirs featured on the artist profile page. This is what my schedule looked like. As you can see, my feet would suffer from walking between venues all evening.

First up, Brous played at The Woodland Bar. What a spellbinding performance. Part 1960s French chanteuse, part early Goldfrapp, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Melbourne musician Sophia Brous enchant her way into the hearts of participants on the first night of Big Sound Live.

The Laurels @ The Aviary
Next up was a jump across the street to The Aviary where I saw Sydney four-piece The Laurels, whose brand of psychedelic shoegaze had me hypnotised. The venue was packed out, so there must've been a significant amount of industry buzz about these guys.

Boy in a Box was playing down the road at Bakery Lane, and although I only caught a couple of songs, I wasn't overly impressed. Citing The Clash as an inspiration is probably a dangerous thing to do with someone like me, as I'm a Clash maniac. I found the set adequate, but missing anything special. 

Adalita performed next at Electric Playground, where I spent most of the night bemused by the drink hostesses in hotpants and stilettos with these weird little hats pinned to their heads. What can I say? I'm from the Magic Dirt generation, and what I saw from Adalita on Wednesday night was, simply put, sad. I'm not sure what the overall aim was for the set, but it felt incomplete, unrehearsed, unprofessional. While I love Adalita's voice and talent, this was not her best show.

Adalita @ Electric Playground
Next, I was running up to the other end of the Valley back to Woodland Bar to see Redcoats. Oh. My. God. What an amazing band! Their brand of '70s-style Sabbath power rock, combined with frontman Emilio's abundant charisma, engaged the room like no other band I'd seen that night (or at the rest of Big Sound Live). Incredible. Inspiring. You will not be sorry if you book this band as a support spot for an international act; they can really carry their own onstage.

Unfortunately I completed missed Strangers. I'd been looking forward to seeing them but the Redcoats gig overlapped. Shame. I wanted to see the talent behind that impressive handlebar moustache...

I caught a few songs from World's End Press at The Zoo. Do bands get any more retro than this? I thought I was standing there watching Orange Juice perform in the mid '80s. Cool band, if that's what you're into.

The Novocaines @ The Aviary

The Novocaines. What can I say? Their show at The Aviary was my favourite of Big Sound Live. Dynamic. More than energetic...explosive. The frontman powered through the set writhing with tension. I was disappointed that more punters at the gig didn't get into the spirit, although three guys down the front more than made up for it. Punk rock at its finest. Brilliant. I could see this band a thousand times and I'd never tire of them.

The last three bands of the night perhaps suffered at the hands of The Novocaines blowing my mind, but for incredibly hyped bands, none impressed me in the slightest. While all three bands seem to have adoring followers, they simply weren't my cup of tea. Calling All Cars and The Vasco Era didn't register at all, and Velicoraptor...well, I just thought I'd accidentally gone to a Beatles revival gig.

Too derivative. Not enough of themselves in the music to make it lovable. Having said that, Velicoraptor packed out Electric Playground. Lots of 'faces'. I get it - I was once a '60s revivalist back in the '80s as a teen. I just think bands back then, like The Stems, did it better. Or did it just annoy me that, with so many guitars, they could've sounded like Ride, but didn't...? Not sure. All I know is, I didn't stay for long.

The first night of Big Sound Live was so much fun. I also got to meet a Twitter pal I'd never met in person before: Mr Brandle, your hair is as lovely in person as it is in photos. It's a pity I didn't get a full media pass so I could share info from the conference with you all. Maybe next year! So, favourite bands of the night were: Brous, Redcoats and The Novocaines.

Here are the rest of my photos I took on the night (with my little Sony CyberShot...I am in no way or form a professional photographer, so no hating, ok?).

The Vasco Era



The Laurels

The Laurels

Photographer Stephen Booth taking pics of The Laurels

The Laurels



The Novocaines

The Novocaines

The Novocaines

The Novocaines

The Novocaines

1 comment:

partywithclair said...

loved your revue of THE NOVOCAINES....I have the same problem when they support national bands..once the 'caines have been on, everyone after them just, well, pale!! welcome aboard :-)